On Wednesday December, 4th over 160 of the country’s finest youth leaders, community organizers, small business owners, bloggers, radio hosts, DJ’s, club promoters, Student Body Presidents, nonprofit Founders, and other influential millennials gathered in The White House South Court Auditorium to hear President Obama welcome a whole new generation of leadership to get engaged on various political issues. Each attendee, including myself, was invited to The White House Youth Summit Social because of the leadership they have exhibited in their communities. “You are all here because of the impact you have made on your communities” President Obama stated as the audience clapped him on.
Also an esteemed panel with representatives from organizations like Rock the Vote, Young Invincibles, Generation Progress, Enroll America, Policy Mic, and the State Senator Jeremy Nordquist joined shortly after his empowering speech and gave advice on how to be a catalyst of change, to get others engaged, and to be apart of the decision-making conversations when it comes to access to affordable healthcare.
President Obama enthusiastically talked about the Affordable Care Act and the importance of educating young people on how it affects their personal lives. The main objective was to make sure young people are becoming insured and taking advantage of the opportunity. Around 19 million people between the ages 18 – 35 are uninsured in the United States, majority are apart of the low income population, and make under $17,000 a year.
“I know people call this law Obamacare… and it’s okay because I do care.”
Most young people lost their family coverage when they graduated high school or college and it was often a few years before they got a job that offered good health insurance. Now under the law, most young adults who can’t get coverage through their jobs can stay on their parents plan until age 26 – this change has helped 3.1 million young adults get health coverage. The main purpose of the ACA was to expand access to those who need it and make it also more affordable. However, if young people aren’t aware they cannot and will not take advantage of their right to receive affordable health coverage. And that’s where youth leaders come in, to educate and empower our peers on the issues at hand.
“It’s never been easy to change how we do business in the country… Bottom line is I’m going to need you. And the country needs you.”
“There are a few young people in this room who will be leading the charge on a whole range of issues well into the future. Don’t get discouraged. Be persistent. You may get a few gray hairs.” President Obama insisted. This movement is not about selling anything to young people. It’s about being educated on the importance of quality healthcare and being knowledgeable on the facts. That’s why it’s been left in the hands of our community to get the word out. Collective power is enormous and if we’re willing to work together positive change is possible.
Want to make a difference? Start by leading a discussion on how can young people get engaged to educate other young people on the Affordable Care Act and also other the issues in our country.
Here are some more facts on the Affordable Care Act:
3.1 million young adults have gained insurance through their parents plans
7.3 million people with Medicare have received $8.9 billion in prescription drug discounts.
34 million people with Medicare have received a free preventive service
71 million privately insured people gained improved coverage for preventive services
105 million Americans have had lifetime limits removed from their insurance.
As the President said, the Affordable Health Care Act is more than a website- it’s affordable, quality health insurance made available to everyone. Millions of Americans visited healthcare.gov to look at their new health care options under the Affordable Care Act. This tremendous interest confirms that Americans are interested in quality, affordable coverage, and want to find it online.
If you lose your current coverage, like when you leave a job with health insurance or graduate from your college’s health plan, you have 60 days to enroll in the Marketplace even if it is not during the open enrollment period. The Heathcare.gov market place, where individuals can go to see their private insurance options, is open through March 31st of 2014. For anyone that signs up by December 23rd, their coverage will begin on January 1st. Over 50% of single, uninsured young Americans in the 34 federally-facilitated Marketplace States can get a plan for $50 or less a month.
4 things You can do to help promote the Affordable Care Act
1. Follow @HHSgov twitter and Like the page on facebook at fb.com/hhs
2. Share your #GetCovered story – let your friends know it’s not cool to rack up huge hospital bills and to #GetCovered
3. Share ObamaCare facts from the White House Shareables page.
4. ENROLL for health coverage through healthcare.gov or call the call center at 1-800-318-2596 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
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